Howdy! Did you miss me? Let me tell you what I've been up to. Friday, Mr. Tangerine and I hauled Ben out of a sound sleep and into a taxi to O'Hare Airport for an early flight to Florida. While traversing the airport, the Chicago Sun-Times cover leapt out at me from a bank of newspaper vending boxes. What's this? "Daley's War on Poetry"? The mayor, who encourages the entire city to read the same book each summer, is anti-poetry?!? It can't be! And it isn't. The headline actually said "Daley's War on Poverty." I kinda like it better the first way.
We rented a shiny new convertible in Orlando and began driving to my in-laws'. Wouldn't you know it? We missed our exit. Twice. (I blame poor signage, as is my wont.) Getting ourselves turned back around involved getting stuck in a roadwork-related traffic jam that chewed up a lot of time, so one of our several turnarounds took us through an Arby's drive-through. Would you believe they had run out of roast beef? At Arby's! (I suspect a recall or a case of rotting meat.) My no-mayo turkey sandwich came with both turkey and mustard, which are vile condiments that should not pass my lips. (Fuckers.)
On Saturday, we went to a "festival of the arts" in Inverness, Florida. First of all, a large ceramic frog that dispenses toilet paper like an endless white tongue? Not art. A large portrait of George and Laura Bush, looking 15 years younger and blander? Not art. Margaritaville/parrothead wooden signs? Not art. Silk flower arrangements? Not art. Kitchen towels cut in half with a crocheted loop sewn on so you can hang the half towel from a fridge or oven handle? Not art. There were occasional flourishes of art, but mostly crap.
But Inverness is lovely. Near the "historic" courthouse (It dates all the way back to 1912! Which is when my grandma was born, so it's not like it's from The Land Before Time.), there was a small law-firm office. The junior guy with his name on the door? Last name: Evilsizer. Seriously.
And across the road from the Evilsizer office, there's a barbershop that sells t-shirts reading "Save a fish, eat a cooter." That's right, people: Inverness is the home of the Cooter Festival we all learned about last year on "The Daily Show." 'Round those parts, a cooter is a small turtle, and the town leaders blithely organized a festival without regard, apparently, for the popularity of "cooter" as slang for a woman's genitals.
On the road between Inverness and my in-laws' place, there's a furniture store called Badcock. Sadly, I did not get a picture of the sign proudly emblazoned with the store's name. Mr. Tangerine wondered if Mr. Evilsizer has had any doings with Badcock.
And speaking of "The Daily Show," I have some sad news. Yesterday, Barack Obama's spokesman reported that the good senator must remain in Washington today to vote on a defense spending bill, alas, and thus will not be making his "Daily Show" debut today. Deep sigh.
Back on the home front, there is some good news. For the last two weeks, my UPS packages had been delivered by rather homely fellows, and I began to despair that the regular guy, the one I've enjoyed seeing every week since 1997, had been transferred. But today he was back—he and the missus had sold their house and had to pack boxes. Apparently he packed his hair because the auburn curls are gone, replaced by a crew cut. I can wait for the hair to grow back in...